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This content is taken from the The University of Edinburgh & Cardiff University's online course, Scotland and Wales Vote 2016: Understanding the Devolved Elections. Join the course to learn more.
Scottish Parliament Building and Garden from the Salisbury Crags



In the UK, elected legislators have different titles depending on the organisation in which they serve. These are the most common:

  • MP (Member of Parliament) - A member of the House of Commons of the UK Parliament

  • MSP (Member of the Scottish Parliament) - A member of the Scottish Parliament

  • AM/AC (Assembly Member/Aelod Cynulliad) - A member of the National Assembly for Wales

  • MLA (Member of the Legislative Assembly) - A member of the Northern Ireland Assembly

  • MEP (Member of the European Parliament) - A member of the European Parliament

The style used is: Jane Smith MP (in this case for an MP).


Within the UK, a person can be elected to more than one legislative body at the same time - called a dual mandate - (for example the Scottish Parliament and the UK Parliament), but this is not very common.

Members of the European Parliament are not allowed to have a dual mandate.


Members of the UK government (MPs from the House of Commons and peers from the House of Lords) and other senior politicians are appointed to the Privy Council, the body which formally advises the Queen. They use the title ‘The Right Honourable’, or ‘Rt Hon’. Privy Counsellors are appointed for life.

The style used is: Rt Hon Jane Smith MP (in this case an MP who is a Privy Counsellor).


Within the UK, once a legislative body has been dissolved and the election campaign begun, all outgoing members immediately lose their title (such as MSP or AM).

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This article is from the free online course:

Scotland and Wales Vote 2016: Understanding the Devolved Elections

The University of Edinburgh